And with significant know-how gained since Canada's legalisation of medical marijuana in 2001, others including Aurora and Aphria are making inroads overseas as more and more foreign markets allow therapeutic cannabis use and research. An Associated Press survey found that 111 legal pot shops are opening today to sell the legal drug-with many more shops to follow.
Canada has invested C$274 million to enforce the new laws and some provinces have allocated their own funding, but Palmer said police will not crack down on illegal stores right away.
There's also the economic reality that Canada is now the largest industrial nation with adult-use, legalized cannabis.
"We saw the same thing on the day (the federal government) announced legalization", Battley said.
Apart from street-level cannabis parties, much of Wednesday's frivolity played out online, with meme after meme riffing on Canada's one-time moment.
The Ontario Cannabis Store website - which offers different types of pot with names such as Easy Cheesy, Super Sonic and Shiskaberry - garnered mixed early reviews on social media, with some praising the website's simple design while others complained about high prices. The day was historic for the country as adult Canadians will be able to legally smoke recreational marijuana after almost a century-long ban. "But we expect to receive more shortly".
Alicia Wright, 38, was the first customer to buy pot at the NSLC Cannabis store in Halifax, Nova Scotia shelling out about C$45 for 3.5 grams of pot and a grinder. Well before the hour struck, lineups were queueing up outside pot stores in the country's biggest cities.
But it also warned that "if a traveler is found to be coming to the USA for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible". She's hoping to see more variety in the future. "It's not but I know that it's coming".
In Toronto, people smoked joints as soon as they rolled out of bed in a big "wake and bake" celebration.
"We're out of capsules online", Ms. Zanocco said. It also unveils some more recent darlings, such as India Globalization Capital, the heavy equipment rental business that also develops cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, as well as lesser known players that shot up under the radar. "I hit the bong before I left and got on the train this morning", he said.
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In small towns like Smiths Falls, Ontario, home to Canopy Growth Corp., executives and employees were to celebrate together.
Further growth is expected from derivative products like edibles, cosmetics and e-cigarette products containing pot, which will be allowed starting in 2019. The number of locations could grow to as many as 150 within three years, the company estimates.
"We're adjusting to the market, we don't want prices to be a barrier to entry, especially at first", Brunet said in an interview with Montreal's 98.5 FM radio station. On Tuesday, US Customs and Border control reiterated that those caught at the border with Canada with marijuana would be subject to arrest.
It's still unclear if legalisation will undercut the black market.
Online mail order sales will be allowed across Canada. "It's going to be a bong show".
Experts like John-Kurt Pliniussen, a marketing professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, are also predicting a bump in tourism worth several billion dollars, citing as examples Amsterdam and a handful of USA states where pot is legal.
"I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall", the 46-year-old Power said. "I'm very grateful this happened in my generation".
"There will be a lot of celebrations on the day, and it will nearly all be with illegal cannabis" in some of Canada's biggest cities, said Brad Poulos, an instructor and cannabis business expert at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Think-tank C.D. Howe warned in a report last week that current supplies of cannabis in the fourth quarter would only meet between 30 and 60 per cent of total demand, but said this would be "short-lived" as more producers are licensed and production capacities expand over time.
A customer looks at cannabis on display after legal recreational marijuana went on sale at a Tweed retail store in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada October 17, 2018. "It's going to be a volatile sector until we get some real data, and we can actually analyze these companies".